Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han
Feb 162017
 

The capabilities of image sensors are constantly getting better, also in the area of the ubiquitous small smartphone sensors. Sony has developed a new 3-layer stacked high speed CMOS sensor with DRAM. It promises to minimise image distortion and add super slow motion capabilities to future smartphones.

Sony announced the development of the industry’s first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones. Compared to traditional 2-layer sensors, the new Sony sensor features an added DRAM layer. The purpose of this extra layer is to increase data readout speeds and make it possible to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion (something we also call “rolling shutter”) as well as super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second in 1080p.

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Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han
Feb 022017
 

A few days ago, German optics manufacturer Schneider announced a new range of full-frame cine prime tilt lenses. This dynamic functionality allows for extended focusing possibilities and tweaking of the depth of field in your shots.
Introduced on January 27th, these new Xenon primes from Schneider are the world’s first full-frame Cine Primes tilt lenses. In terms of design, they are basically regular Schneider Xenon full frame primes, just with the added tilt function. If tilt is left at 0°, there is no loss of image quality or sharpness compared to standard Xenon primes.

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The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr

 Gear  Comments Off on The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr
Jan 212017
 

A few months ago Fujifilm unveiled its new mirrorless medium format camera that also shoots video, the Fujifilm GFX 50S. Today they’ve finally released all the details, including the GFX 50S video capabilities, pricing and availability.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is a Big Thing for Photographers

We’re all about video functionality here at cinema5D, but first and foremost, the Fujifilm GFX 50S is significant news for photographers as it introduces a much more affordable medium format system, including lenses and accessories, in comparison to other systems in this field. Now it’s official, that the new GFX 50S goes for $6,499.

Other benefits of the Fujifilm GFX 50S is its compact size, the removable OLED viewfinder with close to Full HD resolution and of course the high sensor resolution of 51.4-megapixels (8256 x 6192). Fujifilm is also releasing three lenses as part of the new GF series, which cover a variety of focal lengths and promises more lens releases throughout 2017.

 

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The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear, News  Comments Off on The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy
Jan 082017
 

With the expected shipping date for the Panasonic GH5 just over the horizon (here’s our detailed feature GH5 hands-on post from earlier today), we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu to chat about some of the more technical aspects of the next member of the popular GH line of mirrorless cameras. Check out our interview at cinema5D HQ… shot, of course, on the Panasonic GH5.

We all know how much of a cut-throat business the camera world is, with manufacturers constantly trying to one-up one another in a constant and quick succession of new camera releases. As the first big camera release of 2017, the Panasonic GH5 aims to come out swinging, promising to bring a host of truly nice features for indie filmmakers. And about time, too, as after almost 3 years, the popular GH4 was slowly starting to lag behind next to the competition.

But before diving into the great features that the GH5 will bring in a couple of months, we first wanted to know why Panasonic didn’t decide to go all out with some much-requested bells and whistles, especially given its popularity among filmmakers both amateur and professional. So, Panasonic, why didn’t you include internal ND filters and RAW recording?

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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon
Jan 082017
 

The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below: 

Watch our new interview about the GH5 with Panasonic advisor M. Uematsu in this new article by clicking here.

The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.

Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.

Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.

In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.

The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.

Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.

Here is the full firmware breakdown:

GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:

4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017

V-Log Color Profile  – Available at launch, Cost: $100

6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode will be available in a 4:3 aspect ratio in the Summer and the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.

**Update: The camera ships with Anamorphic 4K (4:3) with H.264 compression enabled. Come Summer 2017, 6K (4:3) will be shootable in H.265 compression with free firmware update. Firmware schedule below.  

Unfortunately, if you previously purchased V-Log for your GH4 you will not be able to transfer that update over to the new GH5. A new purchase is required.

While the GH5 has the same dynamic range as the Panasonic GH4, it has slightly improved lowlight performance, but I wouldn’t call this a lowlight camera by any means. We were presented with a ISO 6400 video sample and noise in the picture was very evident. On top of that, when shooting with high ISO settings, the camera will automatically reduce noise internally. This feature cannot currently be turned off and can only be controlled via the menu with high/mid/ and low settings. Panasonic is certainly willing to listen to feedback and might consider adding a complete “off position button” if there is a demand for it.

Color depth is improved and the GH5 will eventually shoot internal 4:2:2 10bit, compared to the 4:2:0 8bit of its predecessor, but launches with 4:2:0 8bit only in IPB compression. 4:2:2 10bit color is double the information of 4:2:0 and provides greater grading flexibility in the post process before the image falls apart.

Here is some gorgeous footage, shot on GH5, from the good folks over at Neumann Films:

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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon
Jan 052017
 

The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below:

The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.
Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.
Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.
In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.

The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.
Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.
Here is the full firmware breakdown:
GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:

4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017
V-Log Color Profile – Available at launch, Cost: $100
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode is available in a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.

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Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han
Jan 012017
 

Sphere Pro lens is a new product from Sphereoptics — a young startup from New York. It brings 360 video capability to conventional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. No stitching is required so converting videos to spherical format is easier and faster. 

The Sphere Pro lens is intended to be mounted (for best results) or held pointed upwards and it is designed to capture a 360° horizontal and 180° vertical field of view. That makes it one of a kind. It is a 35mm full frame format lens and has a Nikon F mount, but you can mount it to most cameras using an applicable adapter. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and focus is fixed as well (best at 40″/1meter).

From the test video you can see the image quality is not perfect, but for a quick VR experience it is sufficient. This lens gives you the ability to shoot conventional content with your personal camera and then quickly switch lenses and record a spherical video with the same body. If you wanted a better quality image you could mount the lens to a RED Cinema camera and shoot in significantly higher resolution, such as 6K. The image outcome will get better in line with the sensors used, which is an excellent feature of the device.

How does Sphere Pro lens work?

The device uses a special toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a circle-like image on the camera sensor. The resolution is therefore only dependent on the smallest dimension of the sensor. Converting the video to a spherical shape for VR viewing is easy and fast through pixel mapping. According to the creators, the process is so easy it can be done on your average iOS or Android device.

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DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han
Dec 112016
 

If you’re a smartphone videography enthusiast maybe considering to step up your game, check out DreamGrip. You can use it with any smartphone, and allows you to mount plenty of accessories.

The quality of smartphone cameras has been steadily improving in recent times, with more and more people starting to use smartphones to generate high-quality video content. We brought you 10 useful Tips for cinematic smartphone videos in the past, but I think we will continue to see huge progress in smartphone videography in the coming years. This means more smartphone-oriented filmmaking accessories will start making an appearance.
DreamGrip is a Hong Kong-based company but with offices in Vancouver, Canada, and have been developing their smartphone rig since August 2015. After testing their first prototypes during the past year, they are now taking pre-orders.

What does the DreamGrip smartphone rig offer you?

Adjustable lens mount, so you can use any smartphone.
A variety of lenses: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Telephoto x2, Telephoto x3.
Bluetooth wireless remote with free app for Android and iOS.
Two cold shoe mounts on the handles.
Additional mounting possibilities through ¼” – 20” mounts and screws.
Adapter with a 52mm CPL filter.
One of the issues when filming with a smartphone at high resolutions while using Bluetooth is of course battery life. While I am not sure where you could mount a powerbank on this rig, it seems like it could accomodate one of those power cases for extra battery life. These are not available for all smartphones, though.

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The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear  Comments Off on The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy
Dec 112016
 

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is a new, third-party dual-lens system for the iPhone 7 Plus. It features a sleek and slim design that makes it unobtrusive and quick to use.

Smartphone filmmaking is certainly a thing these days. Modern smartphones feature decent cameras that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps, stabilisers and other accessories to produce very high quality content. Just take a look at this short film shot simultaneously on an iPhone 7 and a RED Weapon for the kind of end result you can achieve. By the way, if you want to learn more about iPhone filmmaking, make sure you check out this excellent article by cinema5D’s Richard Lackey.
One of the limitations you may find on your journey as an iPhone cinematographer is your camera’s lens. Camera accessory manufacturer Kamerar has announced a product that promises to help you achieve more interesting images: it’s the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit

The main difference to other third-party lens options out there is how seamlessly it integrates with your iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is based around an actual functional protective phone cover with access to all ports, meaning that you don’t have to whip out lens mounts whenever inspiration strikes and you change from phone mode to shooting mode.

 

The back of the case features a slot in which to insert the different dual-lens setups, allowing you to quickly flip up the optics when you want to change your field of view and optical characteristics. This removes the need to screw and unscrew different lenses, and helps you save time when trying to get that unexpected shot.
Kamerar claims their removable dual-lens system for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is the first in the world, and this does in fact seem to be the case, as other third-party offerings only appear to make use of one of the cameras.

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Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced
Nov 122016
 

Teradek has announced a new compact wireless video system. The Teradek Bolt 500 keeps the small form factor of the Bolt 300, but with an increased range of an impressive 500-foot distance, as well as offering HDMI/SDI conversion. 

Teradek has become one of the industry standards for wireless video transmission systems. They offer robust solutions for when you are you looking to transmit your video signal to a wirelessl, whether for providing a separate monitor for client viewing, director viewing and/or your camera is situated where running a cable isn’t practical, such as when sat on a gimbal, high out of reach or across a long distance.

The Bolt 500 is, however, still placed in Teradek’s short range category, a product that will favour users looking to keep their wireless systems small. The Bolt 500 is similar in size to its smaller 300-foot range brother, but step up to the Bolt 1000 and above and you’ll have to deal with a larger physical system when taking antennas into consideration.

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HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range

 HDR Info, Technique  Comments Off on HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range
Nov 062016
 

High Dynamic Range. Heard of it? Canon recently released a white paper on HDR written by Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe, laying down the key concepts and preoccupations regarding this emerging technology.

HDR. You’ve probably seen it advertised all over the place: on the latest generation Atomos recorders, on silly smartphone apps that take the High Dynamic Range look way over to the extreme, on new televisions and monitors claiming to be HDR Ready… It seems like its something we should want… but what is it?

In his recent white paper about HDR, Senior Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe explains the trends in advancements in imaging technologies, and the main 5 parameters in which there has been particular preoccupation.

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Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo

 Gear  Comments Off on Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo
Oct 312016
 

The Chronos 1.4 camera is the result of the efforts of a single engineer, David Kronstein, who is working diligently to bring slow motion to a wider group of filmmakers. The device –  now “production ready” and headed to Kickstarter in the “next few months” for funding – is capable of 1050fps at a resolution of 1280×1024.  Read on for all the details, including footage samples: 

Shooting great-looking slow motion is really, really expensive and usually requires renting a Phantom high-speed camera for the best shots at 300 fps+, or an equally pricey RED Epic Dragon or Weapon for anything below 300 fps. Slow motion, however, is almost always worth it.  Don’t take my word for it –  just look at the trailer for Planet Earth II here, which includes some epic slow motion moments.

The YouTubers over at the “TAOFLEDERMAUS” channel have gotten their hands on a prototype production model of the Chronos 1.4 and have in-camera footage to show as well:

As you can see from the video, there are still a few kinks to work out: there is a 30 second boot up time from the moment the power button is pressed, and saving to SD card takes a considerable amount of time as well, but hopefully we’ll see improvements as the project progresses.

This is very much a speciality tool, especially given the lack of full 1080p resolution, but it is cheap and shows promise at being a no-fuss slow motion solution in the future.

Once fully funded through Kickstarter, the 8GB base model of the Chronos 1.4 is expected to cost a (comparatively speaking) very affordable $2,500.

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Apple Announces the 2016 MacBook Pro with new Touch Bar

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Announces the 2016 MacBook Pro with new Touch Bar
Oct 312016
 

The release of the new 2016 MacBook Pro marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first laptop computer. As always, the refresh brings a reduction in weight and size, a boost in performance, but this time also introduces the new Touch Bar. But what does it mean for video editors?

The October Apple event came right on the heels of their recent launch of the iPhone 7, but many already had a clear idea of what was to be announced. With the current series of MacBook Pros overdue for a refresh, it was fairly obvious that it was their turn to take centre stage.
The new range of MacBook Pros is quite a bit thinner and lighter than the previous generation, challenging even the dimensions of the MacBook Air. In terms of connectivity, the 2016 MacBook Pro features Thunderbolt 3 ports only, offering incredibly fast speeds of up to 40Gbps. Even when using any one the ports for charging the machine, the rest make up for it due to the to the daisy chaining functionality of Thunderbolt. What is a bit of a downer for video shooters, though, is that Apple has completely left out the SD card reader on the new 2016 MacBook Pro. Oh, and it still features a 3.5mm headphone jack, just in case you were wondering…
In terms of performance, the 2016 Macbook Pro features an Intel Core I7 processor, AMD Radeon Pro graphics card with Polaris Architecture (for the 15 inch model) and faster SSD drives. Apple claims all of these improvements boost performance far beyond the previous generation in important areas for video production. The Retina display is also capable of quite a lot more contrast ratio and colour, responding to the ever increasing demand for higher dynamic range and wider colour gamut of today’s professional video industry. The graphics card included in the 2016 MacBook Pro was also mentioned to be capable of driving two 5K external monitors in addition to the MacBook Pro Retina display. Nice!
The feature that stole the show, however, was the new Touch Bar. This Retina-quality, multi-touch strip – located where the escape and function keys used to be – is a content-aware interface that allows you to control system and application settings with familiar gestures such as tapping and swiping. 
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MIOPS MOBILE: A Versatile Camera Remote That Connects to Your Phone

 Gear, Technique  Comments Off on MIOPS MOBILE: A Versatile Camera Remote That Connects to Your Phone
Oct 242016
 

With only 3 days left and over triple the minimum funding goal of $50 000, Miops Mobile is offering something that is both useful and compact for your everyday filmmaking needs.

Camera Remotes have been a standard tool in everyone’s kit for a while now, but they can be expensive, plain and boring. Many have tried to use Kickstarter as a platform to reinvent the small black and white screened remotes. With Apple OS Kits allowing customers to tap into the power of mobile applications, MIOPS have tapped into the power of using an app that allows more than any trigger could possibly offer, and that at an even better price.

MIOPS MOBILE Remote features

Motion, Vibration Sense and Sound Trigger Mode

The app’s MOTION mode uses the smartphone’s camera to watch for the action. It captures photos of moving objects without the need for a manual trigger. This could be useful for capturing wildlife, or even a moving selfie.

The MIOPS MOBILE will also trigger a shot using its vibration sense feature. Using the architecture of a smartphone’s gyroscope and accelerometer, the phone can be attached to a pole, which will allow you to capture your best slam dunk.

Using the smartphone’s microphone, the MIOPS is capable of triggering on sound bites.

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Kodak Ektra, the Photography-First Smartphone – Gimmick or Game Changer?

 Gear  Comments Off on Kodak Ektra, the Photography-First Smartphone – Gimmick or Game Changer?
Oct 242016
 

Kodak Ektra – hard to tell if it’s a phone or a camera, seen from the back …

In a surprising move from Kodak, the company forever synonymous with photography has unveiled the Kodak Ektra, a photography-first smartphone.

Chase Jarvis coined the phrase “The best camera is the one that’s with you”, and I couldn’t agree more. For many of us, that’s our phone.

Building a phone around a proper camera instead of the other way around is something that hasn’t really been done to the extent that many photographers might like. It seems this didn’t go unnoticed by Kodak, and they’ve jumped at the chance to stake a claim, and define that niche for themselves.

The Ektra is not the first smartphone to bear the Kodak brand, however. You have probably never heard of the IM5, released early last year in a pretty feeble attempt to grab hold of people’s nostalgia for the Kodak brand. Not a great phone, nor a great camera.

The Kodak Ektra, however, looks like a much better attempt. It seems like Kodak might be onto something this time, although the specs themselves seem average compared to how far some manufacturers are currently pushing to claim the top smartphone camera spot. The hardware itself is made by manufacturer-for-hire Bullitt, who also make phones for Caterpillar among others.

Kodak have some major competition for the hearts and minds of mobile photographers. There is certainly a legitimate market for a fantastic camera that happens to make phone calls, connect you with all your social media, and let you run all your favorite smartphone apps… but is the Ektra really everything it claims to be?

Kodak Ektra – Gimmick or Game Changer?

One could argue that the imaging specs of the Ektra are not actually pushing the envelope. The camera is based around a 21MP Sony sensor with 6-axis optical image stabilization and an f/2.0 lens. This is good, but far from revolutionary, considering the 41MP sensor in the Nokia Lumia 1020, or dual camera configurations from the major players in a cutthroat industry that will pull out all the stops to offer the best imaging tech available. Is Kodak offering the best cutting edge imaging technology? Not really, but it does stack up pretty well.

Kodak Ektra: 21MP, UHD 4K video, f/2 fixed lens, optical image stabilization

Sony Experia Z5 Compact: 23MP, UHD 4K video, f/2.3 fixed lens
Apple iPhone 7: 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.8 fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 2x 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.8 wide angle fixed lens + f/2.8 telephoto fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Samsung Galaxy S6: 16MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.9 fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Huawei P9: 2x 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/2.2 (x2) fixed lens, SteadyShot video stabilization

Maybe it’s not about that. I’m sure the camera functions just fine, and produces perfectly acceptable images, as well as 4K video. The Ektra does have an attractive design and a distinct style which will appeal to the photo enthusiast, especially those like myself who like to shoot film and walk around with 40-year-old SLR’s hanging around the neck. It has a nostalgic leatherette covering, a throwback to a time long past.

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Sigma Cinema Zooms Pricing Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sigma Cinema Zooms Pricing Announced
Oct 242016
 

We announced the new Sigma Cinema lenses line back in early September and my colleague, Nino, was hands on with the new glass at IBC a few weeks later. Now, we have the pricing details below: 

Sigma had been promising a price well bellow $5,000, and true to their word both the Cine High Speed Zoom 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 now have a price tag of $3,999 and will begin shipping on December 9th.

Both of these zooms are built around the S35 standard and are compatible with 6K – 8K shooting. Available in E, EF and PL mounts.

This price point puts Sigma in unique territory, well clear by a large margin of other cine zoom competitors like Angenieux, Cooke and Arri/Fujinon.  For other budget cinema zoom offerings I would recommend looking into the Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9/T3.9, with a price point of $9,900, or the $5,000 Canon 18mm-80mm T4.4 Servo.  While both Zeiss and Canon have cinema zoom glass that covers a wider useful range, neither are faster then the first Sigma cine zoom offerings out of the gate.

I have no new information on a price or ship date for the full frame Sigma Cinema 24-35mm T2.2. More updates on that when we have it.

While I wasn’t able to capture any footage, I was able to mount the cine high speed zooms and upcoming primes on a variety of camera bodies at a hands-on event a few weeks ago, and I can tell you that the glass feels great and the image holds up well in-camera. Check back at cinema5D.com for footage and a full-fledged review coming in the near future.

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Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?
Oct 182016
 

Yesterday’s press event at Sony’s European headquarters was very informative. We were given the possibility to record with the new RX100V but not with the a6500 as this camera was not yet ready for primetime, although we did get a A6500 Hands-On too.

Here are, in short, the new features that these cameras have to offer:

On both cameras: 

  • The Sony RX100V and Sony a6500 both share the same BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI chip as the new Sony a99II, which allows for high volumes of data to be processed.
  • The buffer has been increased, which allows for capture of more photos per second and longer slow-motion videos.

Sony RX100V – Better rolling shutter effect control

Sony RX100V: 

  • Video image quality has been slightly improved.
  • Rolling shutter effect has been greatly improved because of better processing.
  • Autofocus is now faster and more accurate than before.
  • Photo mode allows up to six seconds of 24fps in RAW, theoretically allowing to create short 5.5K video clips.
  • New underwater housing (Marine pack MPK-URX100A, up to 40m/130ft).

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This Cooled Nikon D5500a Chills the Sensor for Clearer Star Photos

 Gear, Technique  Comments Off on This Cooled Nikon D5500a Chills the Sensor for Clearer Star Photos
Oct 122016
 

nikoncooled

An Italian astrophotography company called PrismaLuceLab has launched a modded version of the Nikon D5500 DSLR. Called the “D5500a Cooled,” the camera uses a special cooling system mounted on the back to chill the sensor and reduce noise during long-exposure photos.

“It’s the first ever cooled Nikon camera ever for astrophotography,” PrismaLuceLab CEO Filippo Bradaschia tells PetaPixel. Cooled CCD cameras generally have better performance in astrophotography compared to traditional DSLRs, but Bradaschia is aiming to narrow the gap with his company’s new modified DSLR. Unlike other CCD astro cameras on the market, the D5500a Cooled can be used without a computer.

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The cooling system is a box that protrudes from the LCD screen space on the camera back — the LCD screen is kept in a flipped out position to the side of the camera. Temperatures inside the camera are reduced by a double Peltier cell by as much as 27°C (~80.1°F) compared to ambient temperature, dramatically reducing noise.

Here’s a “dark frame” comparison at ISO 6400 of a photo with the cooling system on and sensor at -2°C (left) and with the cooling system off and sensor at 20°C (right):

coolingsystemcompare

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Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced
Oct 062016
 

At Photokina, Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics, who sell lenses by the name Laowa and specialise in niche glass for various cameras, announced two new fast wide angle lenses:

After their 12mm f/2.8 E-Mount which we reported about in August, they now also offer a new 15mm f/2 for E-Mount, which is very fast for such a wide angle lens. It covers the full frame 35mm sensor of Sony A7 series E-Mount cameras and is fully manual with hard stops and manual aperture. It features a filter thread which isn’t a given on all wide angle lenses at 15mm. No info on pricing yet.

Their other new lens is a fully manual 7.5mm f/2 prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It will feature a comparable wide angle field-of-view given the 2x crop factor of MFT sensors compared to 35mm full frame cameras. What’s particularly noteworthy about this lens is its tiny size and weight which, when combined with the wide angle field-of-view and the staggering f/2 maximum aperture, make it an ideal choice for drone operators flying a GH4 (or GH5 in the future) on their multicopter. There is no word on pricing on this lens either, but they promise to be “competitive”, which has usually been the case with their lenses so far indeed.

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Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II – Which One is the Best Mirrorless Video Camera?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II – Which One is the Best Mirrorless Video Camera?
Oct 062016
 

The Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera is quickly becoming a candidate as the new gold standard in affordable 4K video. But will it be replacing the famous Sony a7S II as the best mirrorless video camera for cinematic shooting?

Fujifilm X-T2 – Best Mirrorless Video Quality?

Video shooters live in good times. Every few months, a new video shooting mirrorless camera rocks the market and gives us better cinema-like quality and features. Last year, the Sony a7S II quickly became the best mirrorless video camera you could get, with a nice 4K image, numerous useful video features and impressive lowlight performance.

Just two weeks ago, the Panasonic GH5 was announced and raised the bar once more with its specs, offering internal 4:2:2 10bit in 4K, though this camera will only see the light of day in 2017. For now, the Fujifilm X-T2 has landed on our desk and stands a serious contender against the Sony a7s II as the new gold standard. Let’s take a look.

We recently tested the Fujifilm X-T2 in a documentary style situation (check out our review). Few people expected that this camera would be quite so interesting for both photographers as well as video shooters. This is only Fujifilm’s first attempt at implementing 4K video into one of their mirrorless cameras, yet they got a lot of things right, and even since our review some new features have been implemented via a firmware update: Now you can get extended dynamic range (H-2, S-2) when recording internally.

Comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II

Both the Fujfilm X-T2 as well as the Sony a7S II are designed as mirror-less cameras in a photo body. The Fujifilm X-T2 has the Fuji X-Mount and houses an APS-C sized sensor. The Sony a7S II has the Sony E-mount and houses a full-frame sensor. There are fans for both sensor sizes, but in terms of the lens-mount, there are only a few adapters for Fuji right now, while there are many options for Sony E. This could change in the future, if user interest for Fuji X-Mount adapters rises.

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